Failure is success; we learn from our mistakes is a tattoo I have sported on my left thigh for nearly 8 years. It came about during a conversation with a group of female co-workers just before I headed to Ontario to visit family. At the time, being mid-twenties and thinking I had failed miserably in so many ways, I made a quick choice to add it to the growing splotches of ink I wore on my body. I don’t think I fully understood the magnitude of truth behind that phrase, and I certainly didn’t expect that those very women would throw me under a bus during a situation that would cost me my job just a few short months later. But that’s a story for another time.
For every failure, every fall, every ball missed or dropped, we learn what not to do. Which, whether we are aware of it at the time or not, brings us closer and closer to our desired goal. Our success.
Many of you may know, I had been working on several projects for publishing, all collaborations with other women. I believed this was THE opportunity. My chance to realize a dream and be a part of community of women. I jumped in with both feet before really looking to see where I was actually jumping and placing my faith.
As it turns out, there was no safe place to land. I found myself grappling and stumbling around for something to hang on to as I watched everything fall apart. Everything from the collaborative projects, to my finances, to my 9-5 because I was stressed and unfocused. My health was taking a toll because I was running out of funds for bills let alone groceries, not to mention what negative thoughts and stress does to the body and how it functions.
I fell into depression and self sabotaging habits.
I stopped looking after myself and my home.
I stopped connecting with people and stopped doing things I enjoyed, like reading and writing, because doing either hurt my heart.
Every morning I got up and told myself “everything is falling apart. I screwed up again. I trusted the wrong person – again”. It was my new mantra and it was dragging me deeper and deeper into the pits of despair.
And then, one afternoon inspiration hit and I recalled a line from an event I attended several months before. “Look at what’s around you, see what’s broken and do it better… Do the do.” – the irony of where those words come from isn’t lost on me. I’m grateful for that moment and everything that has transpired since.
So that’s what I’ve set out to do. Do the Do.
Now, before I elaborate on the Do that I am doing, I should share more of my story and why it is so important to me that I do it.
See, my entire life I have been searching for community. A safe space among women where I could be myself, be accepted without judgement and be encouraged to follow my passions and my dreams.
This took what feels like an eternity of struggle for me to find.
I sought it in elementary school, but was faced with a group of girls who pretended to be my friends and, in a moment of deception, offered a hug only to stick a sign to my back that sent the entire room of students into snickers and laughs. I still to this day don’t know what was on that paper, but the betrayal broke my heart just the same. The lesson I learned was Don’t trust them.
High School wasn’t much better. Not having money for lunches off school grounds, I was quickly ostracized from the group of girls I started my grade 9 year with. This left me with feelings of unworthiness and inadequacies. I wasn’t good enough to be their friend.
By grade 10 and 11, I had an entirely new group of friends. However, when I was sexually assaulted resulting in the loss of my virginity at 17, rather than have a safe place to turn to and confide in, they had taken his side and showered me with their disapproval and comments dripping with disdain, “I thought you were better than that“…”I expected more from you”… “How could you give it up on a one night stand”. I never did get to tell my side of the story, and by the end of High School I was labelled “Easy”.
I allowed this narrative around myself to continue into my early twenties. Which lead me to continue making connections to women who also would believe it and treat me as such. Although the circle of women I kept was entirely new, again, the gossip and betrayal was cyclical as they made up stories about me, about the man I was seeing and made it their mission to ensure the relationship ended.
Each situation reaffirmed the belief that women couldn’t be trusted. That it was better to be friends with men. At least there was no drama there… (not to mention no real love either).
What I didn’t see was that the lack of self love and acceptance contributed to the attraction of these empty relationships. Believing I was unworthy and held no real value, I radiated a frequency to all those around me that said, “I’m an easy target. Take advantage of me”. As they did, and as I allowed it to continue to feed the belief that I was no good, it perpetuated the cycle.
It wasn’t until I began taking steps in self-improvement and self-love that a shift in that frequency occurred and I began to attract better people into my life. Women who would lead and inspire me. Who would change the trajectory of my life. Women who lived their life authentically and unapologetically. Who took up the space they deserved, no matter who had opinions about it.
Truth is, I didn’t actually find the community I was searching for – it found me.
The incredible part about this story is that I had given up finding this community that I desperately wanted. I didn’t believe it really existed. I had been convinced it was up there with the fairy tales, Hollywood movies and HBO specials. It just wasn’t reality.
By beginning the task of healing and improving the view I had of myself, as the frequency I put out changed, so did the people. It began with my best friend and the women I met through a Dale Carnegie course – How to Win Friends and Influence People.
It grew when I decided to take a leap into the unknown and become an Author, which lead me to my business and life coach. Investing in myself and my growth it connected me with the incredible women in those programs, as well as women they know and so on.
As I currently struggle with the disappointment that some of the publishing projects I invested in aren’t actually happening, as well as the fall out of those situations, it’s the love and support, the wisdom and knowledge of these women that gives me strength to keep going. They remind me to be grateful for the lessons, the experience. They encourage me to keep going when I feel like I am just too beaten to continue. They make sure I celebrate my wins when I am too focused on the next goal to take a breath.
These women, this community, my TRIBE, are the inspiration behind what I am doing.
I envision a platform where women could come together, share their mission and goals and lean on each other to accomplish them, regardless of how many of those women have a similar plan. A similar business, gift, or skill.
A platform based on sisterhood. Raised on the foundation of collaboration over competition.
Coaches and mentors guiding and encouraging other coaches and mentors to help ensure they reach as many people as possible. Writers and authors sharing knowledge and tips to help other writers and authors create their best work and guaranteeing best seller status, putting their books in the hands of as many people as possible.
Leaders leading leaders.
There is so much more we can do if we work together and support each other.
Because I took a blind leap of faith and landed among brambles and thorns, failing in my goal to connect and create with a community of women, over and over again, I found my passion and purpose in creating a safe space for others to land. Where open arms of loving, supportive women wait to catch them, to lift them up and celebrate their bravery. My tribe found me and I want to share it with the women who hold the same false beliefs I once did.
Because I fell, I rose.
Because I was broken, I healed.
Because I was weak, I found strength.
Because I failed, I succeeded.
Failure IS Success; We learn from our mistakes.